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Published on Feb 5, 2009
Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff has been told to make a public apology in the Assembly after defending young republicans who painted post boxes green.
But he put his own stamp on the controversy by rejecting allegations he encouraged vandalism and stood by controversial comments he had made.
Postboxes were painted green by republicans in Newcastle last October, only to be speedily repainted red by a contractor sent in by the Royal Mail.
It was the first such incident in the Co Down town but has also occurred in Mr McElduffs constituency in West Tyrone where as up to 50 postboxes in the Strabane area where painted in September alone last year.
At one stage, Sinn Feins youth wing, Ogra Shinn Fein, which backs the campaign, claimed more than 100 boxes were repainted and posted some video footage on YouTube.